Kerry Stokes, Rupert Murdoch, and Peter Costello (Images: AAP)
Kerry Stokes, Rupert Murdoch, and Peter Costello (Images: AAP)

Everywhere you look, Australia's major media outlets are facing crises -- not those primarily created by the usual existential threats of recent decades, social media and Google, but by misjudgment and poor leadership.

The country's largest media company, the Peter Costello-chaired Nine (as a political party masquerading as a media company, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp shouldn't be included) faces serious questions about its leadership. Last night, ABC's Media Watch showed the awful misjudgment of Nine journalists in signing up to promote gambling corporation Sportsbet -- a misjudgment waved away by Age executive editor Tory Maguire as "a bit of a mixup".

What Media Watch displayed was classic state capture. The gambling industry is, after the fossil fuel and arms industries, probably the most successful industry when it comes to capturing governments through political donations, board and executive appointments and by weakening and capturing regulators.